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Chipotle Hikes Menu Prices In An Effort To Overcome Labor Shortages

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Your next burrito might cost a little more than usual. Chipotle Mexican Grill is hiking menu prices by about 4 percent to cover the cost of its recent wage increases.

The company announced in May that it is looking to hire 20,000 employees and will incentivize new hires with starting wages of $11-$18, averaging at a $15 hourly wage. The company is also adding increased referral bonuses for employees and providing a path to work up to a six-figure salary.

Brian Niccol, Chipotle’s CEO, said these investments in employees would not come without cost.

“It made sense in this scenario to invest in our employees and get these restaurants staffed and make sure that we have the pipeline of people to support our growth. And then with that, we’ve taken some pricing to cover some of that investment,” he said. 

Chipotle is among a multitude of companies like McDonald’s, Amazon, KFC, and Applebee’s that are desperate to attract workers as labor shortages continue across the country. According to the Wall Street Journal, a Chamber of Commerce survey found that over 90 percent of companies said “a lack of available workers was slowing the economy in their area.”

Although there are reports of record job openings and “Now Hiring” signs line every street corner, the national unemployment rate is still 5.8 pecent

Since combined state and federal unemployment perks add up to more than working full-time with a $15 hourly wage, many Republicans have blamed the government handouts for disincentivizing workers. A group of House Republicans recently sent a message to President Biden asking him to end the federal unemployment benefits sooner than the official September expiration date.

In a letter obtained by Fox Business, four Republican lawmakers, led by Rep. James Comer, R-KY, argued the benefits were “weighing down the American economy.”

 “It is past time for Americans to get back to normal,” the letter stated. “It is past time to end the stay-at-home bonus, reopen schools for full in-person instruction, and incentivize Americans to get back to work.”

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